THIS IS ALL COMPLETELY NORMAL???
I am very ashamed to say that it never dawned on me at all that there was any problem with how young people were dealt with, until I had left.
I never had the extreme experiences that many on this thread have recalled, I can't imagine how awful it must be to get that from the people who are supposed to love you more than anyone. I can remember specific instances of being smacked, so I don't think it happened often.
However, when I was growing up as a JW, I did think it was perfectly reasonable behaviour to hit a little child because they couldn't sit quietly for two hours. Warped. I am so glad that I never had kids as a JW.
There is one thing about my teenage years - I developed the habit of picking my nails so badly that I had torn my thumbnails right off. I kept the habit up for ten years. My thumbnails are deformed to this day. A quiet little form of self harm. No-one ever wondered what was wrong with me. I wish someone at school had taken some notice, but then, I was so brainwashed, what could they have done?
I posed this question because last week in family group counseling, my Nancy finally realized, based on the group's reaction to our JW story and how it pertains to her attempt, that her upbringing in the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses was not normal. She had, up until last week, and in spite of all she has been through lately, always thought it was normal.